United Way selects Dippold as Volunteer of the Year

Longtime ski patrol volunteer wins $1,000 for leadership, potential to inspire others

Posted: Friday, September 19, 2008

The United Way of Southeast Alaska annually recognizes one volunteer to receive special recognition amongst all the volunteers from its 37 partner agencies. Shattuck & Grummett sponsors the $1,000 award that is given to an outstanding volunteer who has served their community by giving their time and talent.

As 2008 Volunteer of the Year, Ron Dippold will be honored with a cash award of $1,000 which United Way will present to the volunteer's nominating agency, the American Red Cross.

Stacy Grummett, of Shattuck & Grummett, will present Dippold the award twice this year, once at the United Way Campaign Leadership Kickoff aboard Holland America's Ryndam today and again at the Community Kickoff at the Juneau Arts & Culture Center at 5 p.m. on First Friday, Oct. 3. The community is invited to attend the First Friday event.

Dippold has volunteered for the American Red Cross since he arrived in Juneau in 1965, said Reid Bowman, executive director of the Juneau Chapter.

"He has been a key figure in maintaining the quality of our Health and Safety programs," Bowman said.

Dippold became and Advanced First Aid instructor 43 years ago and since that time has been certified in every Red Cross course that has been offered. In 1972, he became qualified as an instructor trainer and has personally trained most of the current Red Cross instructors. He was also instrumental in bringing Wilderness First Aid to the Southeast office and training others to teach this elite course.

Many Juneau residents will recognize Dippold from his decades of volunteering at Eaglecrest Ski Area, as he has served as a National Ski Patrol volunteer for 46 years.

When asked why Dippold has spent so much time teaching first aid, training new instructors and helping the Red Cross, he responds, "My time is more than compensated for every time I hear that one of the students has helped an injured person, saved a life or delivered a baby. Best of all is when a student has become more safety conscious and a potential injury or death has been prevented."

Dippold also served as the Chapter Board Chair for five years.

Volunteers are judged on leadership, potential to inspire others and the impact to their community.

"Choosing just one winner from amongst a fantastic group of nominees is always one of the hardest calls we have to make annually," Brenda Hewitt, president of the United Way of Southeast Alaska, said. "All of the nominees are so deserving of special recognition. This year Ron really stood out, particularly when you think of all the lives he has touched."

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